A great way to add to the joy of welcoming a new pet into your family is to rescue an animal in need. Chris Hughes and Mariesa Caliguire, a couple living outside of Cleveland, knew this fact better than anybody.
However, their latest adoption proved trickier than all the rest. With a medical condition that would not resolve itself, Chris and Mariesa knew they had to act quickly in order to save their new family member’s life…
To call Chris Hughes and Mariesa Caliguire “dog people” would be a huge understatement. Since they got their first pup Moses early in their relationship, the couple’s lives revolved almost entirely around canines.
By 2013, they’d adopted a whopping eight dogs! With critters of all different ages, breeds, and personalities, there was hardly a dull moment under Chris and Mariesa’s roof. That actually gave them a bright idea.
They started their own reality show called Life in the Doghouse. Over the course of a couple of years, the YouTube series gained a loyal following eager to see how the Ohio couple handled such a hectic household.
Though they already had their hands full, Mariesa and Chris still talked about bringing yet another dog into the fold. There were so many needy animals out there, and giving one more a happy home would be a truly good deed.
In the fall of 2013, they zipped over to the Cuyahoga County Kennel, where countless little faces peered out at them through iron cages. It broke Mariesa’s heart that they could only rescue one of them.
But then one interaction convinced Chris and Mariesa of what they had to do. When they walked up to one beautiful pit bull named Storie, it was love at first sight. Of course, something was obviously different about her.
Her enormously swollen belly told Storie’s whole tale. She was very pregnant, and the staff at the dog shelter said she was expecting six puppies any day now. In fact, they were a bit surprised Storie hadn’t given birth yet.
Mariesa and Chris felt torn. On one hand, they really looked forward to the prospect of Storie joining their family. But on the other, could they really handle this pit bull and her puppies on top of their other eight dogs?
YouTube / Life in the Doghouse
With only minutes to make their decision, the couple followed their hearts. They brought Storie home and introduced her to her new brothers and sisters, who were jumping with joy. Still, the pit bull started showing signs that she was unwell.
Chris and Mariesa could only guess that her state was due to her pregnancy. They did a little research and learned that in high-stress situations, expecting dogs sometimes refused to give birth.
Knowing they had no time to lose, Mariesa and Chris hopped into the car with Storie whimpering in the backseat. The other eight dogs watched as they sped off to see their veterinarian.
Even the vet was concerned. Fearing that something had gone wrong with her pregnancy, they prepared for an ultrasound that would finally provide them with some answers — and hopefully not devastating ones.
It turned out that the animal shelter’s assessment of Storie was all wrong. They sized her up as being pregnant with six puppies. But in reality, she was carrying an unbelievable twelve puppies! And if she didn’t deliver them quickly, Storie would be in serious trouble.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t safe to perform a c-section on the proud mama. Storie would have to birth her litter alone. All Chris and Mariesa could do was make her comfortable and hope for the best. What they saw the next morning was unbelievable.
As if she finally knew she was safe, Storie brought twelve happy and healthy puppies into the world — and not a moment too soon! Chris embraced the new mother as she took a well-deserved rest.
With the puppies safe and happy, Chris and Mariesa had to figure out how to handle all the puppies. They now had 21 dogs in their house, which was enough to trip up even these seasoned canine owners.
The couple realized that they couldn’t care for all these pooches. Fortunately, drawing upon their connections in the animal world, Mariesa and Chris foud homes for all twelve puppies. And that wasn’t the only change in their household.
To give the couple a little more space, Chris’s best friend Ryan offered to adopt Storie. They gladly accepted, knowing she would be in capable hands. Plus, the pit bull could still visit them anytime.
After such a whirlwind few days, Chris and Mariesa felt relieved to sit back and relax with their eight pooches. It seemed like things had finally returned to normal — except that before long Chris dropped an unexpected question.
He asked Mariesa to marry him, and of course, she said yes! They happily tied the knot surrounded by family and friends, in a ceremony which naturally included a couple of their canine companions. They’re not the only pet rescuers who felt lit up with joy either.
Have you ever been so excited you had to bite something? If not, then you’ve never been on the same happiness level of this golden doodle pup, who forwent the lame-duck version of “got your nose” by literally getting his new owner’s schnoz.
talkingxbird / reddit
She found this pup on the side of the road and was going to bring her to the local shelter, but then she saw her face, and, well… let’s just say she ended up bringing her back to her own house! Can you blame her?
FuzzyManPeach / reddit
If you adopt a dog and she immediately poses for a selfie with you while grinning ear-to-ear, it’s safe to say you made a good choice! It’s nothing but clear skies for these two besties from here on out.
Hi-sup / Reddit
As the classic club song once decreed, putting your hands in the air is strictly reserved for those who just don’t care. But don’t tell this pup that! She and her new family couldn’t have looked more excited about their future of friendship.
Lort Smith / Facebook
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then all thousand words for this one would be some variation of awwww over and over. The look of total relaxation and comfort on this dog’s face says it all.
Zombeejeesus / reddit
A really memorable morning might include breakfast in bed, but a puppy wakeup call seems a whole lot better than a tray of toast, bacon, and coffee. All you need his one look at this cuddly doggo’s face for proof!
Covino & Rich / Youtube
What’s cuter than a puppy and his new owner gazing lovingly into one another’s eyes? You can tell they’re thinking of the next dozen or so years of friendship. That, or this doggo is hoping to borrow the keys to the car.
Budzsta / Reddit
A little sunshine and a hug from a new owner—what more could a dog want? Not a whole lot judging by the look on this girl’s face! Her gleeful expression would’ve looked perfectly in place in a shampoo ad.
Megan Jordan / Facebook
That’s a big smile for a little dog! Of course, Tata the pup couldn’t help herself after she’d finally been adopted and taken back to her forever home. And because of her happiness, her new owner couldn’t help but smile, too!
Nicoletta Licciardi / Facebook
Every year he asked for a puppy for Christmas, and every year, his wife declined. That’s another mouth to feed, after all. But one year, his Christmas wish was finally granted, and he couldn’t keep the shock off of his face!
Alyssa Goodwin / Youtube
If adventurers ever found the legendary Fountain of Youth, chances are, it would be a 10-foot-deep pit full to the brim with puppies. Nothing energizes a person or makes them smile like a puppy, and this senior citizen who just met her new companion knows that better than anyone!
I_Speak_Australian / reddit
There’s no doubt that being a police officer must be one of the most stressful jobs on the entire planet. Cops tend to have a tough exterior while on duty, but this officer couldn’t help but melt when he hugged his new puppy!
Panhandle Welfare Society / Facebook
When this woman adopted her new pooch, she couldn’t help but cradle him like her a newborn baby. Judging by the look on this dog’s face, he didn’t mind that at all! He was ready for a lifetime of love.
Allie Lucchetti / Facebook
As this Reddit user put it: “I went to adopt a dog and ended up with a bear.” He didn’t seem too upset about it! Now with a big doggo at his side, he’ll be able to tackle anything the future might hold.
wiioz / reddit
There’s a certain stigma that comes with adopting an older dog—they tend to have a variety of health issues—but this guy didn’t care when he picked out this pretty pooch. They posed for a quick picture outside the shelter, where she really nailed the adorable lolling tongue!
wickedsmaht / reddit
It’s hard to tell the difference between a well-formed “Can we keep him?” face and an “I love this dog so much face,” but rest assured, this girl’s making both! You can tell there’s a lot of love in this pup’s future!
project_seven / reddit
Emotions can run wild when you meet a new pet for the first time, and perhaps there’s no greater proof than this guy’s reaction. When his significant other surprised him with a new dog, he broke down in tears.
DarkSpirit_ / reddit
You bring your new dog home, and what’s the first thing you’re gonna do? Throw a backyard party with your new pooch, that’s what! Maybe if you’re lucky, the dog will even make the same face as you when you pose for a selfie.
zackbusselsd / reddit
The woman in this photo suffered from depression. Life, to her, felt incredibly hopeless. When she finally felt she was on firm ground again, emotionally, she treated herself to a little puppy. This single snapshot captures the beauty of the moment she took him home.
What’s the best cure for a grumpy dad who just wants to watch Netflix? Why, a puppy of course! (This is also the cure for everything, by the way.) The question is, who won this staring contest?
RathskellerDweller / reddit
They say there’s no medicine quite like a child’s laughter, but maybe children sleeping with their canine best friend for the next decade or so is a close pharmaceutical second. Rest now, fellas, ’cause there’s gonna be a whole lot of playing when you wake up!
Happiness Heroes / Facebook
Oddly, this photo looks like a scene ripped right out of a Pixar movie… or a photo from a pamphlet on the joys of dog ownership. Either way, it’s hard not to want to give your own pooch a hug after getting a load of this kid!
logically / reddit
As one Reddit commenter pointed out, the camera may have been quick enough to catch this protruding puppy’s tongue, but it still couldn’t capture his fast-flicking tail! The picture practically bleeds enthusiasm.
tinkerlane / reddit
Their faces said it all: the little girl, overcome with glee at her new Christmas gift, perhaps thinking about a future of mischief with this new pup; the pup, that placid, tongue-lolling look, couldn’t make a better “I’m a puppy” face if he or she tried!